Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fur is my friend

After nearly 20 years in my "real" career, with 4 layoffs in 3 years...I recently decided to take a bit of a sabbatical. Not what I planned when I moved from home in Cincinnati to Minneapolis to push my career to a new level. Not what I planned when I moved again 18 months later to San Francisco for yet another "great opportunity". Just some time off to recharge and reinvigorate my life, while waiting to see the economy rebound. I had no idea when I answered a random ad for a dog walker that this would be my next adventure. That was in March. Now, it's late July. I walk dogs. One or two at a time. I go to the doggie's home and visit each day. We play. We snuggle. We walk. My dogs are always thrilled to see me and rarely complain about the weather. I walk in beautiful neighborhoods and explore areas of the East Bay I wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to see from this perspective. I am in great shape physically after 5 months doing this. My walks in the Hills are challenging and fun. I feel like I am doing something for myself and others.

I am struck by the gardens and the flowers. It's not like Ohio where flowers mostly bloom between May and September...out here...there are always full blooms of some sort. The colors change with the seasons, but the beauty remains throughout the year. Lately, I've watched the fog flow out in the mornings, and often back in again mid afternoon. From the Hills, I look out over the Bay toward the city and the Golden Gate, and I watch the fog coming in or going out above or below the bridge. It's beautiful. I think for my first year here, I didn't have the sense that fog was different from clouds. In my mind...no sun = clouds. But now, I've learned the difference. Fog moves differently through the air. It hangs lightly on the skin and hovers in place. It is beautiful, and ethereal...sometimes warm and other times cool.

My dogs are special. I've grown attached to Zena, Mocha, Poppy, Tilly, JoJo, Chou Chou, Silvie, Fanny, Isabel and sweet Leo. Each dog brings its own energy to our time together, and each day is different and fun. I give them treats and a ton of love and affection. They don't care how I look, what I did last night, what I'm wearing or if my hair is tucked up in a ball cap. All they know is when I arrive, it's time for something special, and they look forward to our visits. I also know that when I leave, it signals that soon Moms and/or Dads will be home from work, and all will be right with their worlds.

So, I will share musings from my walks. I think a lot while walking. Yes, I talk to the dogs...we have endless one way conversations about anything that comes into my mind. I love hummingbirds and see them all the time out here. We see deer, squirrels, birds of all kinds, cats, dogs and people. We discover the rhythm of the neighborhood and have become a part of it. I join the others who work there during the day - landscape crews, painters, construction, window washers, nannies, other dog walkers, housekeepers, delivery and mail persons...we are all busy and share this space during the day.

Who knew I would love this so much? Who knew it would prove so cathartic to be a dog walker? I hope you enjoy My Daily Wag!

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